With rising corporate commitments and shifting regulatory requirements, companies across Europe are looking for ways to quickly advance renewable energy and sustainability initiatives. To help accelerate the pace, Schneider Electric announced it’s expanding the reach of the New Energy Opportunities (NEO) Network, a growing community of forward-thinking corporations committed to buying and developing renewable energy and cleantech around the world.
European organizations can now connect to the NEO Network to address science-based targets and clean energy goals across their footprint. The virtual community provides commercial and industrial (C&I) companies exclusive access to market intelligence, project and pricing information, and developers and technology providers, streamlining the often-complicated buying process.
The NEO Network launched in North America in 2016. Since then, it has grown to more than 50 corporate purchasers, and renewable energy and cleantech companies. Industry leaders BiC, Danone, Ferrero, GSK, and Saint-Gobain recently joined the community, adding to the ranks that include founding members such as AEG, Equinix, and VF Corporation. Developers EDF Renewable Energy and NextEra Energy are also now part of the network.
“We have a long-term goal of using clean and renewable energy for all our operations,” said Sam Kapoor, Chief Global Operations Officer, Equinix, the world’s largest data center and colocation provider. “The NEO Network has delivered insight and connections in the Americas to further that vision. And with Europe accounting for more than 40 percent of our energy use, it will be a valuable resource to build on our progress in the region.”
Schneider Electric serves as the network moderator and lends its sustainability and energy management experience to educate, inform and guide members. The company is the world’s largest renewable energy consultant, having helped C&I companies procure 3 gigawatts (GW) of new wind and solar capacity. It has also transacted on more than 50 million megawatt-hours of Energy Attribute Certificates (e.g., Renewable Energy Certificates and Guarantees of Origin) and over 1.5 million metric tons of verified carbon offsets in Europe and around the globe.
In addition to regional support in Europe and North America, NEO Network members are able to get market research and reports on rapidly developing renewable energy and cleantech markets — India, Mexico, China, and Australia, among others.
“Even though there’s been a dramatic uptick in corporate adoption of clean, renewable energy, the complexity of today’s market can hinder many organizations,” said John Hoekstra, Vice President of Sustainability and Cleantech Services, Schneider Electric. “Technology, partners, financing, and location are all variables that provide an endless array of opportunities but can slow progress. The growing NEO Network community confirms the need for simplicity and clarity.”
C&I companies have played an increasing role in the demand for renewable energy, adding more than 8,000 GW of wind and solar power to the global grid since 2010. In Europe, 60 corporations have joined the U.K.-based RE100 and committed to source 100 percent of electricity from renewable resources. A further 150 European companies have agreed to set science-based targets for greenhouse gas emissions reduction, many of which will rely on renewable energy and other clean technologies to meet their goals.
The ability to access up-to-date intelligence and connect with associates across the cleantech marketplace is key to success. The NEO Network meets these needs with introductory and advanced education, and a space to facilitate innovation and transactions, and share best practices.